How many contractors are there in Ireland?

The FCI (Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland) has fed interesting data to CEETTAR (European Confederation of Agricultural, Rural and Forestry Contractors), which has now been published in an annual summary – detailing contracting activities across Europe.

Image source: Shane Casey

In the Irish section, the FCI estimates that there are approximately 1,800 professional agricultural contractors.

Their cumulative turnover – if provisional calculations are correct – amounts to €750 million per year.

The FCI also says that contractors own about 20,000 tractors, which consume 500 million litres of diesel per annum. It estimates that contractors invest €150 million in tractors and machines – annually.

The association also estimates that Irish contractors make over five million bales of silage and spread more than 10 billion litres of slurry each year.

Image source: Shane Casey

FCI data suggests that contractors account for 25% of all new tractor purchases in the Republic of Ireland.

In the case of some larger, specialist equipment, contractors account for almost all purchases. A self-propelled forage harvester would be an example of such a machine; interestingly, 154 new units were sold here during the past five years.

How much do contractors cut?

Yet another interesting number relates to the percentage of work undertaken by contractors (as opposed to farmers themselves).

Image source: Shane Casey

When it comes to silage, the FCI estimates that contractors cut almost 75% of the overall (national) acreage. For cereal crops, this drops to just 25%. For potatoes, the estimate is 20-25%.

Image source: Shane Casey

The full report is available to download by clicking on this link.

CEETAR was established in 1961; it claims to encompass about 150,000 companies and nearly 600,000 workers. Its stated aim is to represent the interests of ‘land-based’ contractors in Europe.

Here in Ireland, the FCI (Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland) is an active member of CEETAR.